CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

December 3, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter M


26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  M

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on  26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter L  to read the previous post on the letter L.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER M

     Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

     Too often we compartmentalize life. We care for the physical. We care for the mental. We care for the emotional. We care for the spiritual.

     Jesus was tempted by the devil three times. In this first temptation the scriptures tell us (Matthew 4:1-4):

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward ahungered. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

     The changing stone to bread is symbolic—symbolic of evil temptations put before us by the devil. We “hunger” for some quick fix to a nagging problem.

     Jesus hadn’t eaten in forty days. Assuredly he was hungry. The devil was counting on this hunger to draw him away from continuing to trust God.

     We often are tempted to do unnatural things to relieve temporary problems. Yet the answer is in fully trusting God as the long-term sustainer of life, in all its aspects.

     Some things in life trouble me a lot. I care about the poor, especially the hungry. God doesn’t put persons into this world to starve. And yet many do, for a variety of reasons. The list is long—war, drought, joblessness, inadequate food distribution systems, mental illness, etc. God puts us here to be a part of the solution for hungry persons, but not by turning stones into bread. There are many ways we can alleviate hunger—by being less war-mongering, by protecting our water systems, by fostering fair employment of all, etc.

     The devil’s main device is to turn us away from long-term trust in God by the temptation of the quick fix—usually by teasing us to cater to our desires before our real needs. Television ads by paycheck advance companies and tax agencies that offer instant refunds come to mind. Dangle some instant cash at exorbitant interest rates—and significantly reduce the net amount of money that this already cash-strapped individual will be able to use over the long-run for basic necessities.

     The bottom line—fullness of life, every aspect of life, comes as we immerse ourselves in what God’s Word teaches us and as we trust God (and God’s servants around us) to enrich our lives.

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To read 26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET: THE LETTER N, click on: 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter N

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Don’t miss Monte’s devotions.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction

BORING FOOD Lent Devotion #37

THE CORPSE FLOWER (Amorphophallus titanum)—A WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING-Is in Bloom

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 2

Rhode Island: Part 1

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